The new menu item is only available in the South for now.
This is the third attempt by the chain to push its attempt at chicken tenders: Back in 2015, the fast food chain brought its Chicken Select tenders—made from fried strips of chicken tenderloin—back to the menu for a limited time after they were discontinued in 2013 during efforts to streamline the menu.
Now, AL.com is reporting that McDonald’s is testing some new menu items at a location in Birmingham, including its new “buttermilk crispy chicken tenders.” They also appeared at 138 locations in Charlotte this spring.
"This is the South and in the South you have to have good chicken!" Jeff Stanton, a Charlotte-area McDonald’s owner, said in a statement at the time, according to Business Insider.
McDonald's is apparently continuing its chicken crusade across the South with the introduction of the tenders to Alabama.
"We are…here in Birmingham, and this is the second test phase," Jason Black, an Alabama-based McDonald's franchisee, told AL.com. "I fully expect this to go really well, and it will roll out nationally at some point toward the end of the year."
According to Consumerist, these tenders differ from the original iteration; the new version is a riff on the chain’s buttermilk chicken sandwich, which McDonald’s introduced in 2015. They’re made from 100% white meat chicken and soaked in a buttermilk batter before frying.
“We had such success with the buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich that we thought we should try that with the tender recipe, and it seems to be working,” Black added.
Perhaps the third time will be the charm for the chicken tenders, which still haven’t found their place among the chain’s signature menu items. And it’s not that McDonald’s fans don’t love their chicken: The chicken nuggets, which remain the number one best sellers on the McDonald’s menu according to Black, are “never going anywhere.”